For those of you who've been asking how my pregnancy is going, here's a brief update.
Unfortunately, I'm having some complications that prompted the doctors to put me on medication and bed rest already several weeks ago. I've been on sick leave since, trying to stay horizontally as much as possible, having weekly check-ups. After last week's exam the doctor recommended if I plan on taking any flights before delivery, I should do so rather sooner than later.
So I packed my bag, rebooked my flight - and now I'm back in Germany. The prospect of staying here for almost half a year is admittedly odd. I haven't lived in Germany for almost 7 years now. When I moved to Arizona for my first postdoc I never meant to stay away more than a year. You'd have told me then I'd only come back after a detour through California, Canada, and Sweden, in late 2010, 7 months pregnant with twins, to move in with a guy I've been married to for more than 4 years yet have never shared an apartment with, I'd have declared you nuts.
Funny, the way life goes, eh?
In any case, moving in with Stefan some weeks earlier than planned means I've stepped right into his moving chaos. We're sitting on boxes, waiting for phone and internet, and have no kitchen appliances. Also, we're facing difficult decisions. For example, Stefan is left-handed but I am right-handed. So which side of the toilet do we put the paper?
The babies meanwhile are doing fine, growing properly and kicking stronger every day. My belly's size is presently that of a nine month single pregnancy, yet scarily enough has to grow 10 more weeks.
News to me is that Halloween has become a seasonal event in Germany. When I was a kid, that tradition was pretty much unknown here. Now, people have carved pumpkins on their doorsteps, stock up on candy and welcome another opportunity to go out and get drunk. No, I didn't carve a pumpkin. I feel like one myself, that's enough seasonal event for me.
Within the last decade or so, Germany has also seen a boom of new shopping malls outside the city centers. On the weekend, Stefan and I went to Starbucks in one of these malls in the area. Half of the guests seemed to be Americans, probably because the US Army has troops in nearby Mannheim, and really, where can you go on a weekend other than Starbucks? The whole place was eerily non-national, and crowded in addition, so we ordered our coffees to go. Then somebody left and I managed to occupy a table. Sitting there with the paper cups quickly got us a reprimand from the barista for producing unnecessary garbage. Suddenly the air smelled German again.